tv [untitled] February 17, 2014 8:00pm-8:31pm EST
innovations all the developments around russia. the future are covered. coming up on our t's stopped and interrogated at london's heathrow airport a legal advisor to n.s.a. whistleblower edward snowden was singled out by a border agent and interview with that attorney from london straight ahead and the sochi winter olympics heat up with another day of competition russia has scored an olympic gold in the two man bobsled race while the u.s. and russia stand neck and neck for total medals the latest on the sochi games coming up. and a mixed verdict in the trial of a florida man who shot and killed an unarmed teen we'll break down the verdict in the case and ask if michael dunn will face a retrial for the death of jordan davis all of that and more later in the show.
it's monday february seventeenth eight pm in washington d.c. i'm lynn neary david and you're watching r.t. america. we begin tonight with the news that an attorney who represents former government contractor edward snowden is saying she was detained and questioned by heathrow airport border force in london while going through customs just one raid act was traveling along with former n.s.a. whistleblower thomas drake to meet with julian a songe at the ecuadorian embassy in london yesterday right act tweeted after her experience saying i'm fine he throws border force was just trying to intimidate me who was at work snowden do you know him where is bradley manning to talk about what exactly happened i was joined earlier by just one great act herself from london and i first asked her to tell me about what that experience was like yeah i don't i mean everyone has to go through customs i get that and usually you get the same
questions about where are you going where are you staying how many days will you be here and that sort of thing but i was directed to a specific booth at what is called the border force which is i guess the name they use for customs at heathrow and i was initially asked by i was there and i said to see friends and they said who and i said well the people in sam adams associate which is an american organization which is usually the kind of answer that i give the last fifteen international trips i've been on and then they wanted to know who was in that group so i name some names and they did it one point they did look at the passport enough to see that i had two russian visas in there and wanted to know why gone to russia twice in the past three months and
i said that i had a client there and they asked who and i said that it was edward snowden and this is where it got really weird even weirder i should say they said who is edward snowden. and that just felt very strange and i want to ask you about the whistleblower and. that was extremely peculiar i don't know i mean. yes a very peculiar who on the planet doesn't know who edward snowden is but i mean my issue is just very factual he's a whistle blower and he's an asylum. and then after that they asked me if i represent bradley manning they brought up these names not me they asked if i represented bradley manning and i said no and then he did that same
peculiar question who is bradley manning and i said a whistleblower which legally he is. and then the man asked where is bradley manning as if he didn't know and i said in jail and he said yes he's a criminal or something to that effect and it was it to me feel like ok these people are not whistleblowers they're criminals i know it was very. you know finally i just said look i'm a human rights attorney. and i was allowed to eventually go through but it was just a very strange line of questioning and completely inappropriate to be asking about privileged attorney client relationships it is public that i am one of the attorneys representing. snowden however normally the fact of representation is something that can only be revealed with the client's permission so the fact that he's asking about who my clientele is and about my specific attorney client
privilege to work matters is inappropriate. and although i maintained a calm demeanor during the questioning as soon as i left i mean i was shaking and i cried it was just it was extremely intimidating and i know there are a few trolls on twitter saying it should be intimidating to answer a few questions but believe me when you're in a prolonged situation like that and my goal is trying to get into a country where i'm going to be delivering an award along with others to bradley manning it happen. to be the same award the sam adams associates for integrity and intelligence a word that tom drake and ray mcgovern and than myself in calling rally delivered last year to edward snowden you know i didn't want to be belligerent or talk back
or be smart or clever or. argue when in a kind of way again because i depended upon this person to let me into the country but again i feel like this there is a pattern that's developing of interrogating journalists and lawyers at borders and that is unacceptable and jesselyn as i understand it and as a whistleblower thomas drake was traveling with you and was also going to the meeting at the ecuadorian embassy yet he wasn't exactly question in the way that you were any sense as to why you were singled out there i have no idea i mean that and mean it seems like i mean because of the questions i was asked and why tom was not singled out based on the questions i was asked i can only surmise it is because i am a representative a legal advisor to edward snowden and as i understand it you were on something called or you found out later you were on something called the inhibited persons
list can you talk about where that designation came from how do you think you ended up on that list. i don't know i i don't even know for sure that i am i mean again it's one of these things jen robinson another human rights attorney was told that she was on the list but she was facing difficulty leaving the country they do have this inhibited persons list but i don't know if that just means kind of like it did in america the equivalent of being on the select deep portion of the no fly list which i also had been for a number of years. because i myself have been a whistleblower but i've done my stint on various watch lists and. in the past it was because i was a whistleblower but now as an attorney i really take umbrage at bat because my relationships with my clients are pretty privileged and journalists who are being stopped at the borders their relationships with their sources are privileged and
this kind of behavior coming in the western hemisphere from so-called democracies is a complete threat to a free and open press as well as a legitimate justice system absolutely very difficult experience to go through indeed jesselyn radack we appreciate you coming on national security and human rights director at the government accountability project thank you. and we're now on day ten at the winter olympics in sochi russia this year's olympics marks the largest winter games in history the competition boast twenty eight hundred athletes from eighty eight different countries and let's take a quick look at the medal count up until this point russia and the u.s. top the medal count with eighteen another lens is next with seventeen and norway and canada are up next with fifteen medals followed by germany sweden and switzerland and for more on the games let's go to our t.
correspondent paul scott who is in sochi. will russia have added a gold and a bronze medal to that tally on day ten in the two man bobsled event alexander zuckoff and alexey voyage voda were dominant from start to finish they even set a truck record in the first round now it's the first time the russians have won a bobsled gold since the fall of the soviet union and for thirty nine year old zubkov it completes a fairytale and adds a gold medal to the silver he wanted to run in two thousand and six on the bronze he picked up in vancouver four years ago in fact after those winter olympics in vancouver he announced his retirement from the sport with the opportunity to perform at a home olympics games was too much for him to turn down a coaxed him out of retirement and that now looks like an inspired decision elsewhere russia's bronze medal came in the figure skating ice dance competition in the can cuts a lot of doing enough to secure a place on the podium the gold medal actually went to the american davis and white
who happened to be coached by a russian in the arena as a waiver elsewhere in the biathlon women's twelve and a half k. in the mass start there the gold medal went to brad bell a russian daddy a dome achiever and it was her third gold medal of these games and in securing that gold she's become the first female by athlete to win three individual gold medals at a single winter olympics where the female biathlon must start did take place however the men's event was postponed for a second day. as was the men's snowboard cross because of fog in the mountains across pollyanna many people thought that would be the mild temperatures and the melting snow causing problems however it was the fog but both of those vent events have been rescheduled for tuesday with the fog now beginning to lift that was a report from artie's paul scott and of course one of the big events over the weekend was the u.s. russia hockey match the u.s. won in a shoot out but the two teams could face each other again before the olympics wrap
up r.t. spoke with a russian hockey legend about playing for his home country take a look at all the years the live for us until it's all this way and there are lots of pressure to do this everybody expects we're going to do well. you know that but guys that will also experience to play go to different kind of levels that you're going to get into the first that was hockey legend of el baradei. the u.s. and european officials have growing concerns that the security vacuum in syria is supporting a training ground for foreign nationals looking to wreak havoc on their home countries that's all according to information provided by the director of national intelligence james clapper take a look. we estimate at this point excess of seven thousand. foreign fighters have been attracted some fifty countries many of them in europe in the middle east and this is of great concern not only to us but to those countries. but
it's not only the u.s. casting fears british intelligence are now expressing concern that some citizens who joined the opposition in syria have returned home and now pose a serious threat of terrorism sara first has more that's causing huge concern here amongst the security services the police have said that they've made a number of arrests and they're monitoring the situation closely and even genuine thought that sixteen arrests have been made of people having returned back the irony here of course is that the british government. the assad regime it's a good day to be pushing the transition and they've been supplying we slaves to the rebels i think technically they are on the same side as the chinese artists who are fighting the assad regime and the british fight is you would join those jihad is the concern those courses that the five terrorists we see this is a list of the criticisms that is joining these leaks that the real worry is that
obviously was the fighting with the they gained the skills of becoming indoctrinated and the real worry is that once the fights in syria that that is fight they could return home and then the target could become which the students. that was artie's sarah firth. and we turn to florida where a verdict was reached in the trial of michael dunn the forty seven year old who shot and killed teenager jordan davis on saturday the jury in jacksonville found michael dunn guilty of attempted second degree murder for opening fire on three teens who were in the same as you vs jordan davis however they could not come to a consensus on whether to can. victor a quick done of the most serious of charges first degree murder in the two thousand and twelve killing prosecutors argued that dunn recklessly shot at the teens after complaining about the volume of their music in a convenience store parking lot three of his gun shots struck davis one of them cutting through his liver along and his aorta however dunn testified that his
actions were all in self-defense that davis threatened him and that he thought he saw a gun sticking out of the vehicle that al davis and his friends don was found guilty on four of the five counts he was charged with and now faces up to sixty years behind bars in response to the verdict here's what the parents of jordan davis had to say. we're praying for him. and i think something need to print for him. so we are so grateful. for the charges that have been going against him. we are so grateful for the truth so he's the lawyer did he must be remorseful for the killing of my son that it was not just another day at the office my son would never be just another day at the office and to discuss this more i was joined earlier by artie's nicholas o'donovan who is in florida and has
been following this trial very closely i first asked him to break down the charges that dunn was found guilty of. yes four out of five but probably the most important thing here isn't what he was found guilty of but what the jury couldn't decide on not so much in cent and terms because that's not going to change too much i'll explain that later but more and more also show even the legal terms the first degree murder charge for killing seventeen year old jordan davis was a mistrial jurors a simply couldn't reach a very addict on that but after asking the judge if a mistrial on that one charge would affect the rest of the charges the judge let them know that that wasn't the case the rest of the charges were could simply be trialled as normal and then the jurors proceeded conclusion michael dunn was found guilty on three charges of attempted second degree murder for opening fire on three other teens that we we remember were in the same s.u.v. as jordan davis he was also found guilty of one count of shooting throw in deadly
missiles to shoot him in the red dodge durango car in the tains but there was a deadlock on the murder charge against him in the jordan davis case and nicholas going off of what you were just saying at the mistrial the jury couldn't come to a decision on that i know they deliberated for a very long time what were the points of contention and this case that the jury really had to weigh. a very long time indeed after thirty hours of deliberation the jury couldn't decide it michael dunn was guilty or innocent of that first degree murder there was obviously a lot of discussion they worked very very hard thirty hours as we say and they had to take into consideration many many facts but once again the basic question here is how can a juror another human being well know when an individual fails for his life or feels that his life is actually threatened therefore if
a defendant comes up with what we can say a more or less credible story the bottom line is he's the only one that knows if his life was an immediate threat because the other person obviously is not there to tell their side of the story in some cases where we can see how a defendant says that he mistakes a candy bar or a kind of i stay for a weapon or you can just simply say that he saw something that looked like a gun even if they swore than a stand your ground case the jurors were instructed about this law and they could have just reached the conclusion that you know if the law says that when somebody is threatened you can simply just use that force then they could have just reached the conclusion that michael dunn did the right thing according to the law right well let's talk about some of the reaction after the verdict was read do you think people who are seeking justice for jordan davis are satisfied satisfied with this outcome. well obviously there has been well an enormous reaction to this case into
the mistrial we haven't seen though the outrage that followed the zimmerman trial but the truth is that george zimmerman walked away and that michael dunn was not only convicted of those three charges of attempted second degree murder but he could still face a retrial of that first degree murder charge so george jordan davis' mother for instance said that she was happy that there was some sort of closure but others were will simply just frustrated know that michael dunn will not pay for the moment for that for what they think is a clear case of first degree murder we have seen a very strong online support group demanding justice for jordan davis we now know there's also a web site and a facebook page demanding justice for michael dunn so once again case involving the killing of a young african-american is starting to be polarized both sides of the story obviously worlds just simply represent two very different ways and of looking at
the justice system here in america and nicholas what's next at this point for michael dunn there is a trial that and becoming do we know when that's going to happen. well that's a very good question the first thing we have to do is you know let's start with what we do know that's going to happen say no he's going to spend a long long time in prison that's for sure each attempted second degree murder conviction carries a minimum sentence of least twenty years that's sixty years or so then what we still don't know is if he will eventually be you know face in a new trial for the murder of jordan davis if finally he's convicted for that charge he could obviously spend life in prison without parole but as i say we still don't exactly know if and when that second trial could happen although prosecutors have already said that it's a very very possible scenario all right well we'll have to weigh in see if he is indeed convicted on that last murder charge appreciate your reporting artie's
nichols o'donovan and us foreign policy circles are complaining about the record number of big donors to president barack obama that are getting plum postings and embassies around the world while the practice of placing big presidential campaign donors in posts abroad is common in the u.s. the obama administration is putting that practice into use now more than ever according to the american foreign service association obama's number of political appointees serving ambassadorships has broken all records at thirty seven percent and so far the rate for his second term is even greater now standing at fifty three percent but it's not just staggering numbers that are calling attention to the issue it's the obama appointees themselves in a recent hearing senators have a chance to ask some of obama's appointees some very simple questions take a look just barbara i take it you've been to iceland. tour of not have not had the privilege yet and i look forward to going to sort of you've been to
norway. i guess and you belive you've been to hungary yes senator i have missed him and have you been to argentina. center i haven't had the opportunity yet to be there i've traveled pretty extensively around the world i haven't yet had a chance said i. the real exponent china. and some of those nominees are big donors indeed robert c. barber the nominee for iceland raised more than one point six million dollars for obama in two thousand and twelve calling bell nominated as ambassador to hungary contributed about eight hundred thousand dollars to obama's reelection and no one brazen mom a potential ambassador to argentina raised more than five hundred thousand dollars for obama's reelection to look more into obama's political picks for him basters i spoke with r t political commentator sam sax and comedian lee camp and i first asked sam what he thought about the situation. look all the administrations have
done this and usually. somewhere around thirty percent of their ambassador ships have gone to political allies the obama administration in the first of the first term it was something like thirty eight percent second term it started off in its fifty three percent so it looks like this administration is doing it more than previous ones but there is a sort of quid pro quo here if you help me get elected will be a pretty nice gig for you down the road and vaster ships are usually pretty nice drops to have and i think jay carney said well it's just because there's so much turnover right now in his second term but that's supposed to go down so that's their response but lee we saw from how all of those those appointees or those nominees responded that they could you know answer a simple question and they could answer it but they haven't been to the countries that they're going to be appointed to do you find that problematic at all. probably a little problematic but we're not new to putting the horrible people in important
positions i mean this ministration as with as administration it's put there will be will in a lot of positions they put you know that he wanted larry summers who was basically responsible for deregulated derivatives and the two thousand and collapse by association he wanted to be chairman of the federal reserve i mean it's it's like putting george zimmerman as head of the n.w.c. paper lance armstrong as head of the dea or the boogie man in charge of underbred security it's a terrible idea we do this all the time but horrible people in important positions that this is what we do here take our job brownie yeah yeah that makes a whole lot of sense but sam how much of an ambassador really know about the country they're going into. located on a map a form of government. ideally i'd say only these sort of things the language they speak they're what the ruling party the ideals of the ruling party and it seems like these nominees don't have that basic knowledge and the state department don't doesn't have any guidelines on what the embassador should know apparently they're
going to. least some at the end of this month but up until now they haven't had the need we be when you're chosen as an ambassador you go to ambassador school for a bit it's kind of surprise that everything's ok as long as they go to an bassett or a school and learn things just like window dressing and we know the real things that need to be done with these countries being done with like economic hitman and the military and of it a lot of these are pretty symbolic drops i mean the ambassador to the bahamas or a ambassador in this case norway if he screws up and if he doesn't know that much about the country there's not so much damage he can do but when you start saying ambassadors to china who don't know anything about china or hungary or somebody pronounce that argentia a small country here we're talking about the problems they're in control for which we have very strategic ties to so what do you think the implications of this are you know having all of these bastards all around the world that may not know whole lot about the countries there i don't think it'll change things in my job because like i was saying i think the important things and perhaps the scarier things are
done in other levels but i mean you know we did it did it affect our country that we have a big cowboy who can ride a horse and have been a cheerleader folk our boy did that now infinitum didn't matter at all you know we had a vice presidential candidate who couldn't list some things he'd read so point these ambassadors not being and having been to the countries and what role or supposed to play you might remember when wiki leaks released the state department cables embassadors in diplomats were encouraged to spy on the countries that the collect information about foreign diplomats so maybe it's not career foreign service people that you want but people who you can do these covert operatives. and you think now that the administration is getting some flack for this they're going to you know i mean i guess the mission said that this uptick is an anomaly and so maybe the next few ambassadorships that are open are going to go to career people rather than political allies but i don't see this as being much of a change and as i said. it's an ambassadorship to the bahamas and maybe that's
where a political ally should be and not a career foreign service guy we need the people there at the the big things right or decorative jobs for the most part all it seems like the state department may not be very patient with the obama administration going forward sam sax political commentator and leaky camp are comedian thank you so much. did you know the supreme court declared unconstitutional to throw someone in jail if they can't afford to pay off court fees and traffic fines well tonight's resident takes a look at some places the don't exactly abide by the supreme court's ruling.
today people get locked up for not being able to pay off debts from court fines and fees all over the u.s. even though the supreme court set a precedent three decades ago that made the practice unconstitutional nice right here's the story people commit non-criminal offenses like shoplifting small things are going through red lights and then they get fees and fines imposed on them by the courts and then sometimes those people don't pay those fees and fines when they don't jive law the court isn't required to find out if that's because they can't afford it or if they're just being a jerk for seizing the cornea if they just can't afford it courts are legally not supposed to throw them in jail for nonpayment but they do it anyway all the time in fact it's happening on a regular basis and at least a third of us state supporting to some report and a new report by the a.c.l.u. has just found that in washington they impose
a twelve percent interest rate on the fine which continues to screw up while the prisons in prison i'm able to make money the result is often a lifetime sentence of debt and jail hopping the a.c.l.u. also found the same thing going on in ohio in colorado in one report may details the story of linda roberts. the woman who stole twenty bucks worth of food when she got caught courts imposed three hundred and seventy one dollars in fines and fees she told the court she couldn't pay obviously but she was still sent to jail so the fees accrued interest and grew to seven hundred and forty six dollars so her debt and jail time continue to grow cool story rights now some of you might say you break the law you should pay and if you can't pay you should go to jail but to them by they think about this he's in prison meant to not only violate our laws in just the same way that the shoplifters and speeders violated the laws but they also cost
taxpayers money for example the a.c.l.u. found that in jefferson county colorado people are imprisoned for one day for every fifty bucks they owe but it costs the system seventy bucks a day to hold a person on the taxpayer's dime in jefferson county taxpayers paid out one hundred and ten thousand dollars in just five months for this idiotic system of imprisoning people at an expense but it's more than the money that is oh this. so no matter how you feel about the concept of debtor's prison here's the bottom line in this story the only thing that should be sent to jail for breaking the law and be idiotic is the legal system itself tonight talk about best by following me on twitter as the precedent.
that does it for now i mean you're a david have a great name. i'm at. a society i think corporation kind of can. can do and the bank try to get all that all about money and i'm actually sick for a politician writing the laws and regulations tax bankers coming out. here just to flood threat today society. that. they're i married this is very bust and these are the stories that we're tracking for you.